The first European-based round of the 2019 MXGP series has landed Tony Cairoli on the top step of the podium. The Matterley Basin venue provided a spectacular track after the opening round was held in Argentina.
Tony Cairoli missed out on his first Qualification Heat win on a cloudy and cold Saturday due to a mistake on the last lap of the race that cost the nine-times world champion the chequered flag. Under blue skies on Sunday Cairoli kept his head and it was his rival and first moto leader Tim Gajser who fell and gifted a free run for #222 to the finish line. The result marked the third consecutive moto win for Cairoli this season. In the second race the Italian – who had been struggling with a stiff right shoulder and neck in the build-up to Matterley – rode to second place behind Gajser: shadowing the 2016 champion closely in the final laps and finishing only 1.7 seconds adrift. Cairoli’s second consecutive success this year gives him an 8 point lead in the early standings.
Tony Cairoli: “It was a great weekend and for sure this track is one of my favourites. I had difficulty to push from the beginning because of a problem during the week and I was stiff. It meant I got arm-pump after three-four laps. I had to be careful because on this track if you are tight then you’ll crash because it is tricky and there are a lot of strange ruts and kickers. I was cautious and in the end it paid off. Hopefully I can be better for next week in the sand. For the championship everything is going well and that’s my goal.”
Results MXGP Matterley Basin 2019
1. Tony Cairoli (ITA) Red Bull KTM (1-2)
2. Tim Gajser (SLO) Honda (3-1)
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA) Yamaha (2-3)
4. Clement Desalle (BEL) Kawasaki (4-7)
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL) Honda (5-6)